In first person: Dayenu for 2 not enough, we learned while camping

Pesach was coming and our daughter wasn't coming home from college. We felt as though we were in Mitzrayim, a narrow place, indeed. Life was hard: a staff to pay, expenses mounting, balances gone and credit headed for history. So we did the only reasonable thing — headed for Kauai for a Passover retreat, just the two of us on a two-week camping trip, determined to spend nothing, relax and renew.

We landed on Salt Pond and set up a mountaineering tent, which was lucky because the winds blew 50 mph that night. The next day we met refugees from still more ferocious weather on the North Shore, their eyes full of shock, telling tales of nights spent in flooded caves. We hazarded two more days of blustery weather, somewhat less dramatic but still taxing, then decided to find real shelter.

It was Erev Pesach when we discovered some cabins nestled in the lee of a mountain. We set up house and got ready for our seder. Every year for a decade we had been host to up to 50 of our dear ones for Passover. This year, as part of our retreat and our healing, we had no one but ourselves for dinner. We told the story, read the prayers, drank the cups. We followed the prescribed steps, and there was a wholeness to it. Yet we understood that we would never again do it that way, because two for "Dayenu" is not enough.